Here’s a look back at Week 8 and a fast-forward to Week 9:
The good: NC State’s comeback. Coach Tom O’Brien has won more than he has lost in the second half of the seasons during his tenure at NC State, and Saturday’s victory over Virginia was a step toward continuing that trend. The Wolfpack earned their first conference win, a much-needed boost to the program’s chances of playing in a bowl game and also keeping one foot in the Atlantic Division race.
The historic: Clemson’s No. 5 ranking in the latest BCS standings is the highest the program has ever reached.
The consistent: Virginia Tech running back David Wilson and quarterback Logan Thomas. For the third time in four years, a Virginia Tech tailback rushed for more than 1,000 yards in a season. David Wilson rushed for 134 yards on 17 carries in a victory over Boston College, marking the fifth consecutive game he rushed for more than 100 yards. Thomas became the first quarterback under coach Frank Beamer to throw for at least 260 yards in three consecutive games. He also extended his streak without throwing an interception to 118 pass attempts.
The bad: Georgia Tech’s demise. The back-to-back losses to Virginia and Miami have not only put the Yellow Jackets behind in the Coastal Division race, but it has also dropped the team out of the latest BCS standings. With two Coastal Division losses, Georgia Tech will need some help to get back into the ACC race.
The ugly: BC’s ACC record. It is the second consecutive 0-4 start in conference play for the Eagles, and they have played themselves right out of the Atlantic Division race this year.
Top three games of Week 9:
Clemson at Georgia Tech: This is the granddaddy of November, the showdown many ACC fans have been waiting for since both teams were 6-0 earlier this season. Granted, Georgia Tech’s back-to-back losses have diminished the national appeal of this game, but knowing the history between these two programs and the unpredictable nature of the ACC, this could be one of the best games in the country this week. At the very least, a wee bit of offense should be expected on Saturday.
Wake Forest at North Carolina: The Demon Deacons have a chance to push Clemson for the Atlantic Division title, but the Tar Heels are currently standing in the way. The Deacs are coming off a one-point win on the road against Duke and continue to find ways to win in the fourth quarter. North Carolina is coming off a loss to Clemson in which the Tar Heels turned the ball over six times.
NC State at Florida State: Is NC State … back? OK, so it was one win, but it was on the road against an ACC opponent and it might have been just what the Wolfpack needed to spark a second-half turnaround. Despite the fact that both of these teams are on the outside of the Atlantic Division race looking in, it could still be crucial to the division standings. With just two league losses each, one of these teams could sneak back into the picture if Wake Forest and/or Clemson falls.